NOBLESVILLE – The season came to an end of the Zionsville volleyball team Saturday afternoon against Hamilton Southeastern.
The Royals topped the Eagles 3-0 (25-12, 25-23, 25-15), ending Zionsville’s season with a 23-7 record.
Zionsville head coach Rich Coleman said the match was a good learning experience for his young team for the future.
“Hamilton Southeastern isn’t a team that we couldn’t, or shouldn’t of beaten,” Coleman said. “We beat ourselves today. We are young, we are inexperienced, and it showed. We had a couple points that didn’t go our way, and we got a little rattled.”
Some of that inexperience showed in the first set on Saturday.
The Eagles trailed 9-6 early, before the Royals went on a 5-1 run to go up seven. Zionsville got as close as 16-11, but the Royals out-scored them 9-1 the rest of the way.
“We are starting a freshmen, and have a lot of other underclassmen that have not played varsity volleyball,” Coleman said. “While we had a great season, the sectional is different. You have to be able to handle your business and execute to the best of your ability and unfortunately we didn’t.”
The Eagles showed their potential in a back-and-forth second set, that nearly had them tie the match at 1-1.
Not much separated the two teams early, but after being tied 20-20, a kill by Avery Moore and a side out gave the Eagles a 22-20 lead. Up 22-21, a Royal serve hit the tape, but rolled over to the Zionsville’s side for an ace, and sparked a 4-1 rally to close out the set.
Coleman said that set showed the potential of the Eagles moving forward. While they lose two accomplished seniors, all their other top players are back.
“We lose a great senior class, but everything we lose from a physical standpoint, we have the replacement on the roster,” Coleman said. “We lose an amazing setter and a phenomenal libero, but we players that are ready to step in and take over. They understand what it means now and understand what it takes in the sectional. We had to take some lumps throughout the year because of youth and inexperience, and it showed again. But we had a heck of season.”
The Eagles stayed close in the third set early, but the Royals used the momentum from the end of the third set and pulled away in the middle to close out the match in three.
While the season came to an end, Coleman said he couldn’t be more proud of his team, that surprised a lot of people around the state with what they accomplished.
“We didn’t get one vote in the top-20 this year,” Coleman said. “We were well outside of that. We proved everyone wrong. And all that credit goes to the girls. They played with an anger and a chip on their shoulder about and it means a lot to see them do it. It is something we can build on a progress, but now the expectations rise. We lose a lot of leadership, and that is going to be hard to replace. We can teach skill all day long, but leadership is going to be key, because Murph and Katie are two of the best we have had in this program.”